Despite cool weather and windy conditions, Kay and I witnessed our first-ever Monarch butterfly migration on Sunday. After leaving Early Church service, we saw many Monarchs flying in “formation”, then we saw the same thing at Walmart, and then again near our house during a delayed morning walk. We must have seen hundreds. Though new to observing butterflies, this is the first migration we have ever witnessed, and it was very special. We also saw several other different species that have been absent the last few weeks.
Today, Monday, marks Karyn’s 3? birthday; happy birthday! She spent the day working from home as Ridge was a bit under the weather. Today, October 6, also marks the day hummingbirds typically leave our area migrating south; only 2 of the last 10 years have we observed hummingbirds at a feeder later—one year October 7 was the last day and another year the hummingbirds appeared into November. As for packing, we have decided to take a break for a few days, but we’re almost finished anyway. Also, we decided to delay our physical move south for a week; we’ll pack the moving truck on October 16, and move on October 18, a day after the real estate transaction closes. I was supposed to fish with Ed Richmond, his daughter Mary, and grandson Simon, but near constant generation on the Norfork prevented our wading. Instead, twelve-year old Simon fished Dry Run Creek and had a blast, as did all the adults watching. An excellent fly caster and fisher, he caught upwards of 30 trout, including a couple of behemoths. Of course, grandfather Ed was all grins. It was a hoot.
Tuesday was uneventful for us, except for having a new compressor installed for the house air conditioning, but since we’re selling the house we would rather it go on the blink while we can have it repaired than have new buyers have to deal with it. We did have a hummingbird visit one of the feeders! Does this portend unusual weather this winter?
After our morning walk and breakfast, I fulfilled an appointment Wednesday morning with the cardiologist regarding my July heart attack and implant of stints. Everything checked out okay, he removed baby aspirin (81 mg) from my daily meds—now, it is just Plavix and a senior vitamin—and sent me on the way without another appointment until July 2015! Kay remained home for the repair of the ice maker; it was producing crushed ice, but not ice cubes. Seems like a switch had stuck in the back of the ice maker, and the repairman “unstuck” the switch for $60+; oh well! We rewarded ourselves for all the hard work the last couple of weeks by hitting a bucket of golf balls and working briefly on our short game. We had lunch at a new Mexican restaurant (okay, but not great), then picked up absentee ballots for the November election, and then shopped for groceries.
Selling the house has been a roller coaster ride for us, with lots of ups and downs. The break from packing this week has helped us cope with some of the consequent stress. I resumed packing today, Thursday, trying to bring some sense of organization to the shop/hobby room, the mobilization area for packing and the move. Kay drove into town for a “beauty shop” appointment and to take care of other business; while there she learned that the last potential obstacle to “closing” the real estate deal had been resolved. Consequently, we will be closing on the Norfork house on Friday, October 17. We will move the motorhome to Quarry Park on Wednesday, October 15, and then pick up a U+Haul truck on Thursday, October 16; with the help of two hired men, our meager belongings will be loaded on the truck that day. After loaded, the U+Haul truck will be parked until after closing. On Saturday, October 18, we will drive the U+Haul truck and one of our cars to Hot Springs Village and meet two workers who will unload the boxes into two storage units in the Village. We will then drive back to Norfork and stay in the motorhome. On Sunday, October 19, we will drive the motorhome, tow vehicle (Honda CR V), and Expedition down to the Corps of Engineers Maumelle Park near Little Rock. We will be there for approximately 8 days to visit with Harper and family in Memphis, and Ridge and family and Ron in central Arkansas before departing for the winter in Texas. While in Little Rock, we will finalize building plans, execute a construction loan and building contract, sign required permit requests, and arrange for mail forwarding from our HSV P.O. box. Please pray for travel mercies for us.
We have begun saying our goodbyes to friends in Baxter County. Today, Friday, we had lunch with some of our dearest and “oldest” friends in this area, Dick and Carolyn Todd. We met them at our first church in Mountain Home, and I took an instant liking to Dick. He has proved to be as smart and handy as first suspected, and loyal as can be. And Carolyn is as good a person—compassionate, caring—as one will ever meet. We took many short trips together, had a lot of fun nights playing cards, enjoyed a bunch of Dirty Santa Christmas parties, and both Dick and I suffered from some severe health issues. They are the only members of the “in Betweeners” from Twin Lakes Baptist Church that have remained in touch. We will miss them, but will stay in touch. Both before and after lunch, we moved a few more things into the motorhome. We are nearing the end of packing, and are having to check lists 2 and 3 times. We ’re down to almost nothing left in the house. We saw a couple of hummingbirds again today, marking the second “latest of the season” sightings since we’ve lived hear.
We still have hummingbird(s) coming to the feeder today, Saturday, though some look pretty bedraggled. Early this morning, with a break in the rainy weather, I dumped the fresh water tank in the motorhome, and refilled the tank half full with soft water from the house which I chlorinated, adding a teaspoon and a half for the half tank. This should allow us to make it for several days without water, should the need arise. The ice maker was turned on, but alas, no ice, even after several hours. There is a secondary filter under the sink for the ice maker and potable water outlet that essentially removes odors; I couldn’t remember which way the valve was supposed to be turned, but given the “no ice” situation, turned it opposite the way it was and after a few more hours, ice appeared—one little hurdle at a time. On a sad note, we received word today that our part-time next door neighbor, Charlie DuVall, passed away this morning. Charlie played basketball and was on the 1973 Final Four Memphis State team. He had a heart of gold and will be greatly missed; our prayers go out to his wonderful wife, Rima.